“Maleficent” explores the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the classic “Sleeping Beauty and the elements of her betrayal that ultimately turn her pure heart to stone. Driven by revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides, Maleficent cruelly places an irrevocable curse upon the human king’s newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Aurora is caught in the middle of the seething conflict between the forest kingdom she has grown to love and the human kingdom that holds her legacy. Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land and is forced to take drastic actions that will change both worlds forever
“Maleficent” is an intensely satisfying movie which will enchant audiences everywhere. It is visually stunning, featuring magical lands and characters, waterfalls, shimmering lakes, and woods that are alive with many creatures. It also features a funny inside joke as Angelina Jolie’s character tells a child (her own daughter, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt) that she doesn’t like children. Considering how many kids Angelina has adopted, the joke is a good one.
Elle Fanning is simply splendid as Aurora, the young princess who is placed under a curse and is taken by pixies to live in the woods so as to protect her from pricking her finger on a spinning wheel. She is a happy child and Fanning plays this very well. She falls under the care of Maleficent, whose wings were clipped by Aurora’s father who betrayed Maleficent. His cruel cutting off of her wings comes back to haunt him. When King Stefan (Sharlto Copley) has a daughter, Aurora, Maleficent shows up at the Christening to place the curse. She ironically later becomes protective of Aurora and attempts to revoke the curse on her. Young Aurora’s kindness and cheerful disposition is too much for Maleficent and she can’t hold onto her hatred. Jolie, like Fanning, gives an impressive performance as Maleficent, with emotions ranging from anger and hate to love and finally to protective maternal instincts.
The 3D version I saw is awesome and gives a great sense of depth to the many outdoor scenes. The movie is filled with amazing characters and true love’s kiss comes from a surprising person which gives the fairy tale a fresh touch. The movie has intense battle scenes and a fire-breathing dragon so we are awarding our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal for ages twelve plus to the movie, although parents should consult the content listing so as to make their own informed choices. Some kids under the age of twelve will be fine watching the movie. The themes of the possibility of change and love are to be commended. “Maleficent” is a visual triumph set in a fantastic world!